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Chillounge creator steps up his game on St. Pete Beach sands
After turning downtowns into living rooms with his Chillounge events, Rainer Scheer is now exterior decorating on St. Pete Beach.
Scheer’s latest experiment in leisure is the Sunset Lounge Experience, an upscale evening of buffet dining on the sands behind TradeWinds Island Resort.
How upscale? Individual tickets are $250, although couples packages ($490) include tickets plus one of 40 reserved day beds on the beach, or one of 16 canopy lounges. The remainder will settle into a central lounge of sofas and armchairs for top-shelf cocktails, a culinary feast and entertainment, intimately illuminated with LED towers and lamps.
Saturday’s event is limited to 280 diners, and tickets must be purchased by 6 p.m. Thursday to allow food preparation time.
Scheer knows this is a risky endeavor. His last three Chillounge events in Florida were postponed due to bad weather (Sunday is this event’s rain date), and the Sunset Lounge Experience price point is higher, with more complicated logistics.
“Eight years ago I flew to Indonesia and took a big risk by buying three semi trucks of furniture,” Scheer, 54, said by telephone. “Now Straub Park and Curtis Hixon Park look pretty amazing (on Chillounge nights).
“I realize I’m in the gambling business. … How can you have three rainouts in a two-month time frame? But I’m hanging in there. I believe in the concept and I’m a hard worker. I have the passion and the vision, so I just go for it.”
TradeWinds vice president of marketing Travis Johnson said his resort believes in the concept, and the entrepreneur behind it.
“Obviously he has a proven track record of successful events, although the price point on those events is not what this one is,” Johnson said by telephone. “He does have a very rich database, in terms of a VIP clientele that go to those (Chillounge) events.
“Over the course of years with him operating … there’s a lot of demand for his VIP sections; they sell out. Those are always over 100 bucks a ticket, as it is. Obviously the food is good there but it’s not to the scale of what we’ve got planned.”
The menu, available at sunsetloungeexperience.com, begins with a mixed seafood ice sculpture and various salads. Entrees include red snapper with papaya salsa, jerk chicken breast with caramelized apple and golden raisin compote, lobster tails, beef tenderloin and sides of roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus and marinated peppers. For dessert, choose among apricot almond tarts, flourless chocolate tortes, tiramisu, cheesecake and more.
“Everything is high end … top-shelf liquor, all you can eat and drink,” Scheer said. “They sit in a nice furniture piece, like you would expect in the Caribbean or in a five-star hotel.”
Although staging beach events is nothing new for the TradeWinds staff, usually corporate holiday parties, Scheer’s latest flight of leisure is a stretch.
“This is obviously unique, the feel, the chic furniture that’s coming out,” Johnson said. “It’s a totally different atmosphere than the more casual beach events we’ve done in the past.”
Press Release 2016
For Immediate Release
The Sunset Lounge Experience …. An Excellent Hospitality Partner
Sarasota, FL, February 8, 2016, The Sunset Lounge Experience debuts on St. Petersburg Beach, Oct 8, 2016. Brought to you by the producers of Chillounge Night, the ultimate outdoor lounge party, the Sunset Lounge Experience promises to be an innovative, tasteful, and exclusive gathering for a very select few.
The Sunset Lounge Experience is the perfect partner for the stylish and sophisticated beach side hotel. It opens the hospitality market to a refreshing concept in either off-market times or peak seasons.
This unique social gathering feels like a private club. Within the enchanting ambiance of the Sunset Lounge, you feel the rhythm and heat of the night as graceful models showcase exquisite fashions while they interact with the guests … let the dazzling art of fire dance captivate … and sway to the beat as the sensual and colorful ladies of Samba provide that extra magical touch. Music to please, with rare chill-out compilations, are played through the night.
Fine dining will be at its best as guests feast on a banquet of culinary delights. This gives the hotel chef and staff the opportunity to provide innovative signature dishes. And no evening is complete without the fine taste of champagne.
The Tradewinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach will be the first to offer their idyllic beach setting for the perfect gulf-side affair. Casual chic comes to life here…. Trendy lounge furnishings offer seating for 280 guests. Guests can reserve an intimate private daybed for two or join the mix and mingle crowd in our centrally located SLE lounge seating area. All guests will have reserved seating. Special hotel package deals can be made available.
“I wanted to offer a sophisticated experience to a limited number of guests where they can enjoy a combination of beach, sand, sunset, fine dining and entertainment in a private outdoor VIP club-like setting” said Rainer Scheer, the founder of the dynamic Chillounge Night events and creator of the Sunset Lounge Experience.
The Sunset Lounge Experience… understated elegance… “Be out of the ordinary”. The ideal partner for existing events, your Hotel/Resort, wedding or corporate event planning needs.
“Let the Sunset Journey Begin” “One day the sunset will be yours”